Two thousand sixteen marks the 15th year of a unique partnership between the City of Irvine and nonprofit Project Independence to provide meaningful employment for people with developmental disabilities who help to make sure that the city’s busy mail department runs efficiently.

As a licensed contractor to the city, Project Independence maintains two enthusiastic teams to assist in the organization; a morning group from the nonprofit’s Day Program and another in the afternoon from its Supported Employment Program. The teams work with two city employees who are the liaisons to all other city departments.

Debbie Tracy, a liaison and municipal records administrator for the city, said, “You could not ask for a better collection of employees. Both teams arrive on time, excited about the responsibilities of the day and take such great pride in being an integral part in the smooth operation of the city.”

Tim Chervenak, Project Independence’s director of Employment Services, said, “This is everything we hope for in our community partnerships; inclusion, responsibility, adding value and a strong sense of purpose. We have more than 130 job sites throughout Orange County with work placements for 155 employees. Every single employer celebrates these additions to their teams. They realize the effect it has on their entire staff, their customers and their community.”

Founded in 1977, Project Independence provides programs and services that enrich the lives of people with developmental disabilities throughout Orange County.

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